05/27/2013 at 09:40 AM EDT
As Dr. Startz, Liberace
's plastic surgeon, in Behind the Candelabra
, Rob Lowe
revealed an astonishing physical transformation.
"I wanted him to be at once repellant and engaging, if that's possible. He reminded me of a certain genus and species of guy that you would see at Laker games during the Magic Johnson era," Lowe told EW.com
Lowe, 49, adds that the transformation – which took an hour and 45 minutes every day – involved several makeup tests to get the look and feel of the doctor's face just right.
To stimulate a brow lift, Lowe says, "It's tape and pulled behind my head. It's literally what they used to do in the early days of cinema before there were facelifts for actresses. ... I'm also wearing a dental piece."
While it may have appeared lifelike in the HBO film
, Lowe says it didn't feel as good as it looked.
"It was actually really painful, because being pulled that long and that hard for a 12-hour day – it gave me migraines. We shot during the summer. It was unbelievably hot. The wig, being pulled, it was definitely not the most comfortable experience physically for sure."